Notorious Northampton street drinking hotspot could be gated off under new powers

Marble Arch in Northampton could be closed off under new powers given to local authorities.
Marble Arch in Northampton could be closed off under new powers given to local authorities.

Council chiefs look set to stop street drinkers from using a known hotspot by gating it off and threatening them with £1,000 fines.

The borough council will consider plans to make the cut-through known as Marble Arch in the Mounts subject to a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO).

The legislation, introduced in 2014, gives boroughs the power to prevent anti-social behaviour in public spaces by dishing out hefty fines to those caught in the act.

It also lets authorities take steps to close off known hotspots.

A report set to go to next Wednesday's cabinet meeting at the Guildhall states: "Marble Arch has been a hotspot for street drinking, fly-tipping and anti-social behaviour for many years.

"Police have difficulty in dealing with the street drinkers in the area due to the layout and with another route being available (Temple Bar) a few hundred yards away, making it easy for the drinkers to evade the police."

A police environmental Audit in 2010 recommended gating the highway, which runs between Ash Street and Barrack Road and is close to the Hope Centre.

However, the council says the legislation at the time made it "cost prohibitive."

It has also become tempting to fly-tippers because of the easy access to the cut-through from Ash Street.

The measure would mean anyone caught drinking or fly-tipping in the area once the £2,700 gate had been installed could land themselves a £1,000 fine.

Enforcement of the order would be shared between council officers and the police.

Cabinet members are set to vote on the proposals at the Northampton Borough Council cabinet meeting on Wednesday, May 10, at 6.30pm.

If approved the borough will have to carry out a consultation with residents and business owners in the vicinity.